Preventing Delirium in Older Adults with Recent Hip Fracture Through Multidisciplinary Geriatric Consultation


Address correspondence to Koen Milisen, Center for Health Services and Nursing Research, KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 35/4, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail:



To evaluate the effect of inpatient geriatric consultation teams (IGCTs), which have been introduced to improve the quality of care of older persons hospitalized on nongeriatric wards, on delirium and overall cognitive functioning in older adults with hip fracture.


Controlled trial.


Two trauma wards in a university hospital setting.


One-hundred seventy-one people with hip fracture aged 65 and older assigned to a multidisciplinary geriatric intervention (n = 94) or usual care (n = 77).


Incidence and duration of delirium were measured using the Confusion Assessment Method, severity of delirium using the Delirium Index, and cognitive status using the 12-item Mini-Mental State Examination.


Significantly more controls (53.2%; n = 41) than intervention group participants (37.2%; n = 35; P = .04; odds ratio (OR) = 1.92, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04–3.54) were delirious at any point after surgery. No significant difference was found between the groups for duration or severity of delirium episodes. The proportion of participants with cognitive decline at discharge was higher in controls than in those assigned to geriatric intervention (38.7% vs 22.6%; P = .02; OR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.10–4.24).


Delirium episodes and cognitive decline during hospitalization were found to be common in older adults with hip fracture, as expected, but an IGCT intervention reduced the incidence of these adverse outcomes. In participants who developed delirium, a geriatric consultation had no effect on severity or duration of the delirium episode.